Britons are more likely now to buy Fairtrade goods, organic food and environmentally-friendly products than they were in 2011, according to a new study.
A survey by market research firm Nielsen suggests that the public are happy to pay a little extra for products that are more sustainable, ethical and have a smaller footprint, despite the economic troubles that many are experiencing.
A quarter of UK shoppers have said they would buy products that are fairer and greener – an 8% increase on the figure from spring 2011.
Mike Watkins, senior manager of retail services at Nielsen, said that the shift had been helped by a greater availability of organic and Fairtrade products in supermarkets and shops.
“Improved marketing contributes to better awareness and education about such products and helps compensate for any perceived quality trade-off between eco-friendly and standard versions”, he said.
Globally, the survey found that the percentage of those willing to spend money on ethical goods has risen from 22% in spring 2011 to 46%, thanks to widespread knowledge of factories practices and recent food scandals.
A similar study by Nielsen published in June, found that the number of consumers who buy from socially responsible companies had grown by 5%, especially in Asian countries such as India, Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia.
In January, a Co-operative Group revealed that the ethical consumer market had grown to £47 billion, despite the economic recession, up from the £13.5 billion it was worth in 1999.
The Neilsen study didn’t cover the public’s attitude to buying clothes. But a separate survey conducted among 18,500 people in Canada for television channel CTV in June said that almost 70% of people would agree to pay a bit more to have their clothing made by workers with decent wages and working conditions. However, it added that many still look for the cheapest option.